The 2009 NAPS Conference - An Insiders Perspective

I just got back from the 2009 Annual Conference for the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS) and wanted to share some of my experience with you…

It was a real honor for me to be asked to present the Opening Keynote at this years event and to follow in the footsteps of amazing people like Danny Cahill, Barb Bruno, Jon Bartos and Jeff Skretny.

I arrived at the Red Rock Resort a day early to sit in on the Owner/Manager session that was being led by Jeff Kaye the CEO of Kaye Bassman and Next Level Recruiter Training (NLRT). Jeff is an outstanding presenter with a great amount of information to share. He is always a pleasure to watch in action and each time I hear him present I walk away with a long list of action items for when I get back home. Upon entering the room I found Karen Pickens was giving a detailed demo of the new training site, Next Level Exchange. They have done an excellent job in creating something that will be changing the face of training in our industry.

After dinner with Adam Peterson the CEO of VIPE and Mark Arrow the CEO of Headcount Management, I turned in early to get a good nights rest (which is hard to do in Vegas) so that I would be ready for action in the morning for my Keynote.

Following my sound check I was happy to find my CEO, Marc Albin and my Uncle Kenny, who lives locally, joining me for breakfast. Upon entering the main room I noticed that the room was literally packed to the rafters with nearly 300 people, it was standing room only with attendees even in the doorway and the hall outside. The headcount for this year was actually up from last year’s event in Orlando. I have to admit that I was bit nervous for the first time as this was a major presentation at a major industry event. The Keynote for day #2 was going to be Bill Stoller the Chairman of the ASA and CEO of Express Employment Professionals, a true legend in the industry. Bill was honored the following day with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The crowd was warm as I waltzed through my stories and presentation. They laughed when I needed them to, and together we shared a moment in time. My goal was to set the tone for the conference and to open everyone’s minds to what was possible. Yes, motivation and entertainment were on my mind but delivering real content that could impact their performance and results was my main focus and I felt that I accomplished what I set out to achieve.

My first workshop to attend was with Mike Ramer. I really like Mike’s inter-active presentation style and his top-notch content, His topic was on marketing and I took notes and hung on to his handouts to share with my team upon my return. Following a wonderful lunch I joined Jon Bartos for his middle session of three presentations in a row. He was on top of his game and gave a dazzling talk on Business Development. This guy is a speaking dynamo, a pleasure to watch and a wealth of information. He shared a 60-page handout that is chock full if valuable forms, scripts, and more…

To start off the evening we were hosted to a great cocktail party. Chris Lavioe and Jim Shaki from Recruiter Earth were there with their cameras rolling and Jennifer Lambert was interviewing everyone like stars at the Oscars. Hanging out with Dave Knutson, Kathryn Sheppard, Judy Collins, Conrad Taylor, Carol Wenom, Barb Bruno, Margo Graziano, Frank Risalvato, Doug Beabout, Jeff Kaye, Diane Skuller, Christine Damato, John Sacardote, and my friends Jordan and Jeska Rayboy was an absolute blast.

Overall, the people were upbeat and positive. The word across the board was that things in the market have already started to pick up. Many of the recruiters in attendance were reporting that they were so busy that they needed to hire some extra help. The roundtable sessions were packed. Adam from VIPE ran three filled to the hilt tables in a row with demos and answering questions about his video introduction platform, Jamie Schwartz the COO from HaleyStuart headed up a table on social networking and I walk away very impressed with his level of knowledge of Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, RSS, etc...

I have to say this was truly a world-class event. Many thanks to the team from NAPS for having me and for putting on a great show!

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